© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1879.
Viewing maps of the area has revealed that in the late 1800's there were two brick works in Ashbourne Green, which is about a mile north-east from the centre of Ashbourne. On this first map dated 1879 the works was opposite Ashbourne Green Hall & the track which passes between the two is now the B5035 road to Carsington.
I have found three entries for brickmakers who are listed at Ashbourne Green, Offcote, Ashbourne, Derbys. in Kelly's directories, with the first two working at this first site as shown on the 1879 map above. They are W.N. Archer, Kelly’s 1887 edition, then W. Mason, Kelly’s 1895 edition. The third listing is for the Ashbourne Brick, Tile & Pipe Works in Kelly’s 1899 to 1904 editions with William Hart as secretary & these dates then match up to the second site which was not very far from the first & can be seen on the second map dated 1898 below.
© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1898.
Photo by Dave Penney.
I photographed the Ashbourne Green & Grange bricks at the Silk Mill Museum Derby in October 2015, but since then Dave Penney has sent me a much better image of the Green brick. More than likely the Green brick was made at the first works & the Grange brick may have been made at the second. With the trade directory entries recording Offcote in the address, I have found that located near to the second works today there is a house called Offcote Grange, so there could be some connection to the naming of this Ashbourne Grange brick, but I have to note that on the 1898 map this large house is shown as The Grove. The Grove/Offcote Grange may have been where the owner of the Ashbourne Brick & Tile Co. lived ? If I get confirmation on this theory I will update the post.
Photo taken at the Silk Mill Museum, Derby.
Photo by David Kitching.
The Buxton Stone, Brick & Tile Co. Lim. is listed in Kelly's 1876 edition at Fairfield, Buxton with William F. Hill recorded as secretary. In the 1881 edition C.F. Wardley is now listed as the secretary at the works. The 1878 map below shows two brick yards on Brown Edge Lane (today this road is called Brown Edge Road) & the yellow coloured yard is marked as brick & tile, so I am taking it that this was the works operated by the Buxton Stone, Brick & Tile Co. There are no more listings in trade directories at this date so who owned the other yard is unknown.
© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1878.
I now write about two bricks which are stamped Pioneer Buxton, but as you will read these bricks were more than likely made in Lancashire.
Photo by David Kitching.
The Pioneer Blue Brick & Fire Clay Co. Ltd. is listed in Kelly's 1904 edition with F. Cowley Smith as secretary & the central offices address of Terrace Road, Buxton. There is no address for the works & neither the 1898 or 1919 maps show any brickworks marked in or around Buxton, not even on Brown Edge Lane the previous location for two brick yards in Buxton. With the company name saying blue brick & fireclay this normally indicates that the clay is being found deep underground, but there are no fireclay mines shown on these Buxton maps either.
I then found this information from a list of mines operating in Lancashire in 1908. The Pioneer Blue Brick & Fireclay Co. is listed as operating the Thornlee mine (fireclay) at Grotton, Lees near Oldham with Thomas Jones as manager. The entry then records the mine as discontinued. So if there is a connection to Buxton & these bricks were made in Lancashire, why stamp their bricks Buxton ??? The only connection with Buxton is the listing of it's Central Offices.
The 1904 map below confirms that the Pioneer Glazed Brick Works was in Lancashire & the Pioneer Company only had it's head office at Buxton. We may never find out why they did not stamp their bricks Grotton or Oldham. So technically speaking they are not Derbyshire bricks unless I find new information which says that the company did have a brickworks in Buxton. Also to note is why the trade directory entry says Central Offices Buxton, did the company have another works in the West Midlands making it's blue bricks from the etruria marl clay which is found in that area & Buxton was the central location for it's offices between the two works ? I have not been able to find any reference to the Pioneer Co. in the West Midlands, but if I do I will update the post.
© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1904.
My first reference to this brickworks comes from Kelly's 1936 & 41 editions when John Greenwood (Brickworks) Co. Ltd. is listed at Railway Street, Glossop & works Monslow, Dinting, Glossop. From other information found I have established that the brickworks was at Mouselow Quarry although not marked as such on the 1938 map above. The 1879 map just shows a quarry with no buildings, then the 1897 map shows one building then the 1919 & 38 maps show two buildings & a tramway to the quarry face. Could these buildings be the brickworks ?
Photo by Frank Lawson.
My second reference to a brickworks at Mouselow Quarry comes from a National Archives document which records an application by the Glossop Brickworks Ltd. to extract shale clay & brick earth from land adjoining Hounslow Quarry (this should read Mouselow) in 1958/9.
I expect this brick was made in the late 1950's/ early 60's by the Glossop Brickworks Co. Ltd.
My next reference to this brickworks is in 1975 when J. & A. Jackson of Denton, Manchester are recorded as adding the Glossop works to their portfolio of owned brickworks. The brickworks may have closed under Jackson's ownership some time before 1994, as my final reference is the 2011 application by Wienerberger to continue extracting clay shale from their Mouselow Quarry until 2042 as originally approved in 1994. I have found that after Jackson's became the Chelwood Brick Co., this new company was later acquired/ taken over by Wienerberger resulting in Wienerberger owning the Mouselow Quarry today.
Many Thanks to
Derby Silk Mill Museum
National Library of Scotland/ Ordnance Survey